November 2011Occasionally Crafty: November 2011

Wednesday, November 30

Scrappin' Wednesday- 11 months

Don't forget to enter the giveaway for My Memories Suite! 
You have until Friday night- go here to enter!

Welcome to Scrappin' Wednesday, where I get to show you a glimpse of our family life through my digital scrapbook pages.  This week's page was created on the new version of My Memories Suite, v3.  This is the same software you have the chance to enter!  I really enjoy using it- it's so easy and user-friendly.

This week, I'm sharing a layout I created with my son's 11-month pictures.  At this age, he didn't much like sitting still for a photo.  Instead, he liked to chew on his toys, practice standing on the couch, play hide and seek with Mommy, and even cry a little.  His first year had lots of grumpy crying!  (Am I a terrible mother for taking pictures of him at his grumpiest? )  

Here's our 11-month old:  

Thanks for stopping by!


Monday, November 28

Gifts Given and Received

Well, last week sure was a doozy.  I had a great, quiet Thanksgiving with my family, who were pretty much all sick.  How about you?  I really enjoyed the time off from driving kids to school, dance, and everywhere else.  Being sick sometimes makes you stop and just be- which we often forget to do in our busy, busy lives.

Before I go on with my post, I've decided, due to sickness and Thanksgiving, to extend my My Memories Suite giveaway until the end of this week.  I'll announce the winner next Monday.  Go here for more details, and to enter!

Well, we can OFFICIALLY move on to Christmas now!  I'm really feeling Christmas-y because I have both given and received my first Christmas gifts!  I participated in the Craftaholics Anonymous Handmade Gift Exchange.  It's been fun getting to know a fellow crafter.  I had my friend Lindzie from My Creative Place, and I decided after our emails to send her some things to help her get ready for Christmas.

She told me her colors are blue, silver, and black, so not your traditional Christmas colors.  I found some pretty papers that I thought would complement her color scheme, and painted some Noel blocks for her.

I was making myself one of eighteen25's Christmas Planners, so I doubled up and made one for Lindzie too.  I love that thing- I've used it a lot already!

Finally, I included a few baby washcloths for the baby boy she is having around Christmas time!  Wow, as if the holidays aren't busy enough!  I can't imagine having a baby right then!

Shortly after I sent my gifts off, I received Lindzie's gifts in return.  She sent me a fabulous Christmas wall hanging, which is displayed in my kitchen.

She also gave me some great ornaments for my tree.  The "E" is for my last name.

She also sent me a mini-canvas that says Let it Snow- it is so cute!  My pictures of it seem to have mysteriously disappeared, though..... I'll have to take some more once my camera battery recharges :(
She was so cute to include some funny recipe cards and a notepad, too.

Thanks so much, Lindzie!  If you missed it this time- stay tuned- Linda at CA does these twice a year, and are always a huge hit!  You can sign up next time.

I am sharing this over at the Handmade Gift Exchange linky party and at these other fun linky parties.  Come on and party with me!


Tuesday, November 22

Scrappin' TUESDAY- My Memories Suite Review and Giveaway!

****This Giveaway is Now Closed****

Welcome to a "special" edition of Scrappin' Wednesday- on Tuesday!  I'm moving things up a day this week so I can have my Thanksgiving free!

If you've been reading my blog this year, you know that every week, I share a digitally-scrapbooked page that I created.  It's really helped motivate me to catch up on my scrapbooking.  So, I was super excited when I was contacted by the company that makes My Memories Suite, a top rated, best-selling digital scrapbook software.  I was offered the opportunity a free copy of their product to use, review it, and give one away to one of you!  (more on that in a minute-)

Many people use Photoshop or Photoshop Elements for their digital scrapbooking.  Those programs are great, but expensive- often prohibitively so.  They also have a steep learning curve.  So, I know lots of people are on the lookout for good alternatives to those programs.  My Memories Suite might be what you're looking for.

1.  It is affordable- the full software costs $39.97, and that includes a good amount of papers, embellishments, and such.  If you use my coupon code that I'll give you later, you can save $10 on your purchase, making it even more affordable!

2.  It is easy to understand and navigate.  You can choose pictures and embellishments from the menu on the left, then use the menu on the right to edit them.  On the page, you simply drag and drop.

3.  You can use all the digital "stuff" you already own.  This was a big concern of mine.  I've spent a lot of hours, and a decent amount of money collecting digital scrapbooking kits, elements, word art, etc.  I was worried I'd be unable to use them, but you can simply add them as a photo, or even import them into the program and organize them as you desire.

Remember this page from last week?  All my own elements, created with My Memories Suite.

4.  You can create other things besides digital scrapbooks.  I used MMS to create a holiday card.  (This is an old picture, so I'm not actually sending these ones out).  It was so easy to do!

You could also use it to create a "slideshow" of sorts from a recent trip.  You even have the options to share your albums by printing them, exporting as JPEG so you can have them printed, creating a hardbound book, creating an interactive "movie", or sharing on Facebook.

5.  It is compatible with Windows/PC and MAC.  If you're a MAC user, you've got a version just for you!

Now, the few concerns I have:

1.  Pictures Pixelate.  I have used other software that enables my digital elements to change sizes without pixelating.  On My Memories Suite, I have to be much more careful in the dimensions I choose.  It seems like there is less leeway there.
2.  Albums v. Pages-  I wish I could just create a page at a time, instead of having to create a new album each time.  I currently have to create or open an album,create a new page in the album, and then save that page to the album.  It's just not the way I usually work- sometimes I create out of order- my pages don't necessarily go together, so it's just clunkier for me.
3.  I would love a "group" option for my elements/text, so I could move things all together.  Though I hear that version 3 will be offering that.....
Want a Free copy of My Memories Suite?  Simply visit, choose your favorite kit/paper pack/element pack and leave a comment telling me what it is.

For extra entries:  (please leave a separate comment for each!)
1.  Follow Occasionally Crafty on GFC (1 entry)
2.  Follow the My Memories blog here:  (1 entry)
3.  "Like" My Memories on Facebook:  (1 entry)
4.  Follow My Memories on Twitter (1 entry)
5.  Blog, Facebook, or Tweet about the giveaway (1 entry for each)

Want it now?  Use my coupon code to save $10 off your purchase, and a $10 coupon for the My Memories Store.  Nice.  The coupon code is STMMMS33532.  This coupon code is good from today through....forever!  It might make a great gift for the scrapbooker in your life!  

The giveaway will be open until next Tuesday, November 29th at midnight Arizona time  (Mountain Standard, I think).  A winner will be chosen by and announced on Wednesday, Nov 30th.  Good luck!


Monday, November 21

Quick Baby Gift

Happy Monday, all!  Man, was it a weekend.  I have been sick, sick, sick.  I lost my voice.  I can't stop coughing.  I keep falling asleep on the couch.  It has not been pleasant.  It was bad timing, too.  This weekend, my husband was called to be the new bishop of our ward (congregation)!

If you are LDS, you know that is a life-changing thing.  If you're not, you can read more about it here.  We are excited, overwhelmed, apprehensive, etc.  I am excited to get to know the members of our ward more, and know that it will be a great opportunity for service.  Still, there are a lot of hard things and sacrifices that will be made.  I don't know how this will relate to blogging, but there are chances changes in my family life will cause some changes here.  We will see....

I also did some silly and fun things this weekend.  I went to the Breaking Dawn midnight showing with some of my girl friends.  It was tons of fun!  I also went to a baby shower for my sister-in-law, and that's where this post (finally) comes in:

I gave my sis-in-law a whole bunch of my old boy clothes and baby stuff, so I don't know that a shower gift was really necessary.  Still, I wanted to give her something that I made, so I did this:

The printable comes from an idea I saw on Pinterest.  It was not linked back correctly, however, so if you know who originally created this, I'd love to know so I can give proper credit!  I used Picnik to create my own version using her son's name.

I paired it with a few handmade washcloths and some deliciously-rich baby shampoo.  Cute and practical.

I'm linking up my gift idea to some parties this week:  I hope you'll come check them out with me!


Thursday, November 17

Three Things Thursday

Hi and welcome to Three Things Thursday, where I get to share with you some of the beautiful projects that caught my eye this week.  With the holidays coming up, the crafters are getting really creative, and it's getting harder to just choose three projects.  But, since I should actually get off the computer sometime, I'll resist doing Thirty Things Thursday.   Here are three projects I love from this week's linky parties:

1.  This Christmas Twig Vase from I Can't Stop Crafting is beautiful!  You could spray paint this in any color to match your holiday decor.  It would also be great just for fall in general, no?

2.  Shirley from I "Shir" Can Craft shared not only her beautiful Fall Rosette Wreath, but her tutorial on how to make "lollipop" rosettes.  I always wondered how to get this look, as opposed to my messy, twisty rosettes.  Thanks Shirley!

3.  Mandi Being Crafty shared her Jingle Bell Noel sign.  I LOVE the addition of the hanging jingle bell from the "O".  I just might have to copy her!

Thanks, ladies, for the inspiration!  Feel free to grab a featured button if you like!



Wednesday, November 16

Scrappin' Wednesday-

Welcome to Scrappin' Wednesday- where I get to share photo glimpses of my family with you through digital scrapbooking!

A quick note before I show you my creation:  you will want to come back here next week for an awesome giveaway- one I was trying to win FOREVER until I got the opportunity to work with the company directly!  If you like making your own photo cards, slideshows, digital scrapbooks, or other digital creations, be back here next week!  Same time, same place :)  Now, on to the page!

The first day of school is a momentous occasion!  I was so excited to send my oldest off to her first day of kindergarten last year!  She was SO ready to start school, too, so it was fun for everyone.

Here's the layout I put together for her first (ever) day of school:

Thanks for stopping by!


Monday, November 14

Thanksgiving- "Give Thanks" Vinyl Plate

Happy Monday, everyone!  I hope you all had a fun weekend!  I had Super Saturday (our yearly craft day at church), spent some time with our family, and enjoyed some rain in our parched little corner of the desert!  I've got some pictures of my crafts coming soon, but today I want to share with you a simple, cheap home decor craft for fall or Thanksgiving.  This is by no means a new idea, but I finally got around to making my own vinyl charger:

I bought this metallic brown charger at Michael's for a dollar.  I used my Silhouette Studio software to design the vinyl decal, cut it, and applied it to the center of the charger.  That's it!  Honestly, the hardest part about this was trying to get a photo of it without my reflection in it!  (Don't look closely)

With all the different colored chargers, and all the holiday sayings, the options on this are pretty much endless, so go buy yourself a few and get to work!  Mine joined my fall flowers on top of our entertainment center.  Love!

I'm linking up to some of these parties this week, and looking for people to feature.  Will it be you?

Have a great week-


Friday, November 11

Holiday Hoopla- for my Arizona readers

It's 11/11/11.  That's pretty cool :)

Anyway, my friends The Craft Addicts are hosting a fun holiday craft day in the West Valley next month.  Have you heard about it?

This sounds like so much fun!  These craft days are great opportunities to make new friends, meet some blog buddies, and of course, come away with your beautiful creations.  Click here for more information.  Get your tickets now because there aren't many spaces, and you don't want to miss out!


Thursday, November 10

Three Things Thursday

Welcome to Three Things Thursday- where I get to share with YOU some of the fun projects that have inspired ME this week.  I hope you'll love them as much as I do!

Here are three things that caught my eye this week:

1.  I adore this Christmas Table Runner by Knotted-Thread.  I love that it's Christmas-y without being too literal.  And the zig zags are super cute!

2.  I really need a pair of boots.  And when I buy some, I'll need some boot socks.  In His Grip gives us an easy way to make your own Sweater Boot Socks.  Love them!


3.  A Diamond in the Stuff shows us the cute jewelry she made with her old keys- her Junk Jewelry.  What a great way to reuse something we all probably have hanging around at home.  My favorite is the old key with the pearl and wire chain!

Thanks for the inspiration, ladies!  Feel free to grab a featured button if you like!



Wednesday, November 9

Scrappin' Wednesday- On Grandpa's Boat

In central Oregon, there is a lake everyone in my husband's family refers to as "the lake" or "the cove".  I'm not sure what its real name is.....

Whenever we visit in the summer, we beg Grandpa to break out the boat and take a trip up to the cove.  There is a nice picnic area we often spend time in, near a wading part of the lake.  The cousins take turns riding on the boat, water-skiing, or being pulled on rafts.

On this trip, we had just a few of us, so we spent the day out on the boat.  The water was FREEZING (though that didn't stop my kids from venturing in!)  We enjoyed the beautiful scenery and watched the brave ones freeze their little tushies off.  My youngest, not even one at the time, really did NOT enjoy having to wear a life vest, as you'll see in the pictures below!

Here's my layout for the trip- quick and simple this time:

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, November 7

Sweet Scallops Tote- My Version

Are you participating in the Sweet Scallops Tote Sew-Along from See Kate Sew?    I heard about it from Mandy at Sugarbee Crafts, and I'm so glad I did.  Emboldened by my success with the Layla bag I made here, I decided to try my sewing skills again.  I finished my bag last week, and I'm sharing it with you today!

Here it is:

I made the bag using Riley Blake fabric from the Sugar and Spice line, as well as some leftover canvas and lining I had from some previous projects.

Close up on the scallops:

Here's a view of the (boring) inside.

My 2 year old thinks it belongs to him.  He quite enjoyed filling it with toys.

But really, it's a nice piece of arm candy for me.  I'm excited to take it out and about with me.

It's not too late to join up- if you're a quick sewer, the link-up is on until NOVEMBER 15th!  Head on over here to see all the bags linked up!

I'm also linking up to some of my favorite parties this week- come party with me!

Thanks for stopping by-


Thursday, November 3

Three Things Thursday

Welcome to Three Things Thursday, where I spotlight some of YOUR projects that I've found as I've searched through the link parties each week!

This week is full of cuteness for little girls.  I'm not sure why these jumped out at me, since my "little" girl is now 6 1/2 and she's probably not getting a little sister, but still....  I guess there's always gifts!

Here are three things that caught my eye this week:

1.  This "Puffle" Skirt from A Home, Made  is just adorable!  She gives a detailed tutorial too, so click over to bookmark it for your next sewing project!

2.  These Sparkle Boots from Good Little Things would be any little girl's dream!  I'm in love with them, for sure.


3.  I love this Baby Girl's Blessing Dress from The Tanners.  The ruffles and rosettes are right up my alley- and I love that it's handmade!

In our church, babies are given a name and a blessing shortly after birth- it's not a baptism, but it's a special day nonetheless.  I love to see what other mothers choose for their little girls to wear!  My daughter wore a dress my mom made out of my wedding dress.  My name and her name are embroidered into the hem, and if she chooses to use it, she can have her daughter(s) name(s) added as well.

This is the best full length shot I had of her so you could see some the fabric and some of the lace appliques from my wedding dress.  She's adorable.  Not that I'm biased....
Thanks for the inspiration, ladies!  Feel free to grab a featured button if you like!



Wednesday, November 2

Scrappin' Wednesday- 10 months

I'm starting to feel the heat- I was hoping to be caught up in my scrapbooking by the end of the year.

Excuse me while I stop laughing.

I'm up to August 2010, which means I am still over a year behind!  With two months left to go, maybe I will be able to finish 2010, at least.

Anyway, I should get on to today's layout.  I loved taking pictures of my kids each month of their first year, to see how much they changed.  It's one of my favorite traditions.  Today I am sharing a layout created with my son's 10 month pictures.

Thanks for stopping by!